tv Weekends With Alex Witt MSNBC October 27, 2012 4:00am-5:00am PDT
latest on its path and when it might make a direct hit on the u.s. coastline. it is still expected to do heavy damage. the latest in a live report ahead. ten days and counting. new polls out today in some key swing states. how might hurricane sandy affect the election? in office politics, america at a crossroads. we stand on what this election means, big picture, with some of our colleagues, the buzz from the msnbc newsroom. good morning, everyone. welcome to "weekends with alex witt" where you get to what's happening right now out there. we have this breaking news, sandy has been downgraded to a tropical storm overnight but the threat to the u.s. remains. five states as well as d.c., they are under state of emergency. people along the east coast are preparing for the worst. residents are bagging sand and boarding up buildings. out-of-state power crews are on call, ready to move in after the storm. sandy's powerful winds and flooding rains battered the bahamas and caribbean and at least 43 people have died as a result of this storm so far. most of the deaths occurred in
haiti where officials fear even more fatalitiefatalities. nbc meteorologist dylan dryer is here with a look at the forecast track. good morning to you, dylan. >> good morning, alex. we are talking about this storm. it has weakened. but that doesn't change anything. this is still going to be a major storm. especially for the mid-atlantic region. it is downgraded to a tropical storm right now and notice its movement. it's moving north/northeast at about 10 miles per hour. it is going to take a turn to the northwest on monday. we're talking about this storm staying so far out to sea and it is going to have such a big impact on the east coast. for now it is a very large storm. you can see the heaviest of the rain is still out over the water. we are starting to see some of the outer rain bands producing lighter rain along the beaches of north carolina and south carolina. and it is going to take this path, following parallel to the eastern seaboard. but look at this setup. we have a stalled front to our west, and we have a huge area of
high pressure to the northeast. that's actually going to cause this storm to go in between the two, and monday night into tuesday, that's when conditions are going to deteriorate. we could end up with more than 10 inches of rain in the delmarva peninsula and of course the rough surf will be an issue, as well. alex? >> okay, dylan. thank you for that. in just a few minutes, weather channel meteorologist julie martin will bring us a live report from the north carolina coast where they're certainly gearing up for the storm there. also al roker will be joining us at 7:30 a.m. from delaware. front page politics now. new this morning, president obama in his weekly address emphasizing the progress made four years after the wall street crisis. >> businesses have added more than 5 million new jobs, the unemployment rate has fallen to the lowest level since i took office. home values are rising again. and our assembly lines are humming once more. >> meantime, president obama says he wants to work with congressional republicans to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that would trigger tax hikes and
spending cuts. two short months from now. so, also new this morning, we have president obama picking up another endorsement, though not unexpected. this one coming from the chicago tribune. mitt romney and paul ryan made a joint appearance last night in the battleground state of ohio. >> not just picking a president for four years, we're picking what kind of country we're going to be. what kind of people we're going to be. what kind of country we're going to give to our kids. >> we want real change. we want big change. and paul ryan and i are going to give it to the people of america with your help. >> on the campaign trail today, mitt romney is holding three events in florida, with senator marco rubio, paul ryan's bus tour is crisscrossing ohio. president obama visits new hampshire this afternoon. and vice president biden will attend a rally in lynchburg, virginia. let's get right to it. nbc's mike viqueira is joining us from the white house. good saturday morning to you. >> hi, alex. >> first before we get to this president's trip north. is tropical storm sandy affecting any of the white house plans?
>> it certainly is. you've heard this phrase, we're familiar with it, an abundance of caution. that's what you're seeing from some of the campaigns today. vice president biden was set to appear in virginia beach right along the coastline with his wife dr. jill biden and son beau biden. that event has been canceled. meanwhile michelle obama, the first lady, was due in new hampshire on tuesday. out of again abundance of caution they have canceled, postponed that event. mitt romney was due in virginia beach where joe biden was supposed to be today. they postponed that event. they've altered their schedules. they're going to be appearing elsewhere. you mention the fact that president obama, he's going forward with his trip to new hampshire today. he's also got a big trip set for monday appearing with bill clinton in youngstown, ohio. orlando, florida. and then lastly, northern virginia right here in river city. we'll see how that goes on monday what the weather looks like. we're expected to get the brunt of it as you just heard between monday and tuesday. meanwhile the president, as you mentioned, has been giving interviews, talking about that fiscal cliff. the quote of the day yesterday you had it on the super, he
promises to wash john boehner's car and walk mitch mcconnell's dog. turns out mitch mcconnell doesn't have a dog, in order to get something done to avoid that fiscal cliff everyone is predicting economic catastrophe. meanwhile, an nbc affiliate out of denver talked about some of the themes that he's working on and hitting mitt romney with. >> i fought for middle-class families in colorado and all across the country. that's the kind of president i think you want. and i'm looking forward to having the privilege of serving another four years. a lot of it is going to depend on colorado so i hope everybody takes advantage of early vote in colorado. you guys are always ahead of the curve when it comes to voting. >> nine interviews yesterday, the president did. he was in washington, but he headed down to dnc. radio interviews with our friend michael smerconish and others around the country. >> mike viqueira, get your track shoes on. joining me now, white house
correspondent for the hill amie parnes, and steve selma. good morning. >> hi, good morning. >> amie i'm going to begin with you because we have some interesting poll numbers from ohio to go over. first of all with this overall poll from cnn/orc. it shows president obama still ahead by four points there in the buckeye state. what are the president's campaign advisers saying about that? is it too close for comfort or are they confident or -- >> sure. i think they're cautiously optimistic. they have done polls, have been poll testing in ohio, and i think that they feel good about where they are. but you know, he's going to be spending -- the president's going to be spending a lot of time in the next eight days there. he's going to be there with bill clinton on monday and i expect him to be back there relatively soon after that. i think he's going to basically be bunking there all week. >> yeah, good point. what about you, steve? the ohio poll showing the president is winning over about six in ten early voters.
but he's losing the election day voters, 61% to 44% for mitt romney. so the romney campaign says the president's peaking too soon. do you have a read on the ground there, what's going on? >> well, i mean, the ground game is fascinating there. the president has about three times as many field offices in ohio as mitt romney does. so they're very confident they have enough people to knock on doors, make phone calls and get out the vote on election day. however, late-breaking votes tend not to vote for the incumbent. you know, we know that those voters know who the incumbent is. they haven't gone to him, they haven't voted early for him, so it could end up being a wash on election day and could be a late night. >> you got that right. how about the obama campaign calculation, amie, on this comment about boehner and mcconnell, dog walking and car washing. the gist of all this, what's the reaction? >> well, it's something you said
before. i've heard him talk about it on the campaign trail. he's basically trying to send a message that once this all happens, he will be able to work with republicans, and he'll be able to put this all behind us. he's kind of sending a signal to that everything will be all forgotten. don't think about me as a one-term president anymore, let's all be in this big kumbayah moment. >> maybe not so much. steve, we're seeing some national polls as we look at the numbers. they favor mitt romney while the president leads in some nine swing states. is it your sense that we could see the dreaded elector el popular vote split, and if so, what does that mean? >> well, i think it's very possible this time. i think one of the reasons is mitt romney could be getting really big margins in the south from texas across the south. which would roll up his popular vote. while the president wins some big states by narrower margins, and thus mitt romney wins the popular vote, barack obama wins
the electoral vote and the presidency, like we had in 2000, and it raises questions going into governing. so i think what you see is the next day, mitch mcconnell and john boehner the republican leaders in the congress, stand up and say we'll speak for the majority of the country and therefore continue to oppose the president's agenda. >> what about you, amie? any words from inside the white house? are they mulling this prospect of the possible electoral vote split and how it might affect governing? >> i don't think they care so much about the national poll. they haven't really even strategists tell me they haven't even really been focused on that. they're focused on the swing states. so i think that when the president does come back, if he does come back, then he will have to say, you know, this is all in the past, let's all try to work together. but i think they're taking the swing state polling very seriously, and not so much on the other. >> yeah. steve, quickly, hurricane sandy. we know it's canceled events in virginia and new hampshire.
how might it impact the race? could this turn out to be an october surprise, do you think? >> absolutely. and it starts in florida right now because they're juggling campaign events already in florida. it will affect the get out the vote effort up the eastern seaboard because we've got several swing states, virginia, north carolina, florida, new hampshire right along the eastern seaboard. i think it will clear out by election day. but right into the final weekend, as we get farther north, new hampshire, particularly, you could see it affecting those people who have to go out and knock on doors and get the vote out. >> all right, steve thumma, amie parnes, good to see you both. a live report on tropical storm sandy. ear going to hear from the weather channel's julie martin who is on the carolina coast. then back to the election. the numbers coming in on early voting. we'll take a look at how president obama and mitt romney are doing in some key states. plus the newsroom edition of office politics. i'm going to talk with several of my colleagues about whether america is at a crossroads in this election. [ cat 1 ] i am not a vegetarian...
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it could turn out to be the real october surprise. courtesy of mother nature. what is now tropical storm sandy, and the campaigns are taking preindications. vice president joe biden canceled today's event in virginia beach. president obama's team is watching and waiting before canceling a monday rally with the president, and that would be with president clinton in virginia. meanwhile, mitt romney's campaign canceled tomorrow's event in virginia beach. the romney campaign will soon decide the status of two other sunday appearances scheduled in virginia. and right now, tropical storm sandy is chugging out of the bahamas. it is heading right toward the u.s. coast. people along the seaboard are preparing for the storm's high winds and the severe storm
surge. sandy could strengthen back into a hurricane before making landfall, and weather channel meteorologist julie martin is live in nags head, north carolina for us. julie, good morning. you know, i hate saying that it's been downgraded because i know this thing in all likelihood will come back up to full speed, right? and you're seeing the first effects right now there. >> yeah, alex, it doesn't really matter that much. because, right now, what we're dealing with is a very large system, with a large wind field. so it's if a tropical storm, if it's a hurricane, it doesn't really matter. all that much at this point, because that wind field is so large, the effects are going to be so widespread, and millions of people, potentially, impacted by sandy as it makes its way up the coast. just to give you some perspective, i'm in nags head, north carolina. the center of this system is still about 500 miles to my south, well off the coast of florida, and we're already seeing winds that are in the 20s, and a sea that is looking pretty angry, as well.
just take a look out there. we're right near this fishing pier. part of this was washed away during hurricane isabel back in 2003. there's a big beach renourishment project that they spent here, $30 million, they're waiting to see if sandy washes those tax dollars away, as well. one of the things here in the carolinas will be the fact that we have onshore winds for a long period of time. we're going to be seeing rain later today. deteriorating conditions overnight, as sandy makes its way up the coast toward you. and then, persistent onshore winds will be bringing coastal flooding, power outages, and the like. just to give you some perspective, last year, during irene, large sections of roads were washed away here in north carolina. power was knocked out to about half a million people, and seven people died. so, even -- and that was a low-end storm. i wouldn't really read in to much to the fact that this is a tropical storm or a low-end hurricane. either way the effects are going
to be devastating and now is the time when people really do need to prepare, alex. >> i'm glad you're putting that reminder out there. it's absolutely true. just because it says tropical storm right now, don't let your guard down. julie martin, thanks for watching things for us from north carolina. we're going to check back in with dylan dreyer at the bottom of the hour for the very latest on the path of the storm. al roker will also be coming our way from delaware. back to politics now. today republican presidential nominee mitt romney heads for florida to campaign with senator marco rubio. governor romney and vice presidential candidate paul ryan had a big rally in ohio, and today congressman ryan is on a bus tour across the state. nbc's ron mott is traveling in ohio with mr. ryan so with a good morning to you, ron. let's talk about all the stops on this bus tour today in ohio. how many do you have scheduled? >> hey there, alex. good saturday morning to you. i should have taken the pillow from the hotel to sit on because we're on a nine-stop bus tour over 400 miles today and tomorrow with congressman paul ryan. they're trying to close the deal here in ohio. we expect to see president obama
and governor romney hit these battle grounds hard over the next ten days. ohio is perhaps the most important of them, especially for governor romney. because no republican candidate has won the white house, alex, without winning this state. last night as you mentioned, he and paul ryan held a huge rally in north canton last night, about 8,000 people according to the campaign braved some pretty brisk temperatures. the governor is asking for their help in this state because the latest cnn poll just out a few days ago shows that the president is up four points. 50-46. now that lead is about half of what it was a few weeks ago. so the governor has chipped away at that lead but still has a ways to go. they want to get their graund game out, get people out to early vote and then get people out to the polls on november 6th. governor romney is going to campaign with florida senator marco rubio and paul ryan is going to hit this state hard over the next 48 hours. they really expect to win here. rob portman, who was governor romney's debate partner, is the chair of the romney team here in ohio. he feels a lot of pressure to deliver this state and he says
basically, if they don't win here he sees it's going to be very difficult for them to win the white house. so all eyes on sandy at the moment, and also ohio. >> well put. keeping our eyes on both places. thank you very much, nbc's ron mott there. so, popular vote there's electoral vote. could it be a split election? that's our question out there today. i'd like you all to talk to me on twitter, @alexwitt. i will be reading some of your tweets throughout the day. you can also hit me up on facebook. the road to 270. could it all come down to colorado? we'll take a look at the rocky mountain showdown. keep it here on "weekends with alex witt." the capital one cash rewards card gives you a 50% annual bonus. and everyone, but her... likes 50% more cash. but, i have an idea. do you want a princess dress? yes how about some cupcakes? yes lollipop? yes!
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joining me now, hitha prabhakar. >> good morning, alex. >> let's go with the gdp which rose in the third quarter. beat expectations out there. do you think the u.s., our economy, is finally on the road to recovery, and it's a good like for sure thing? >> alex, it really depends on who you ask. as you said, the gdp is growing at a slow rate. it went up 2% between july and september. and that actually beats the estimate once put out there at 1.8%, economists were saying. now the gdp has been growing for the last 13 straight quarters. so that's grown the last three years. unemployment is also at an all-time low. that's definitely adding some optimism. but nay sayers are saying the economy isn't growing fast enough. the white house projected the economy to grow at 4.3%. that was after the stimulus package was passed. and they're also saying that we're really going to have to see, wait to see until after the election. the first quarter of 2013 to see if there's really some change
there. >> sustainable there. you know 80 is the new 65. i mean there's this new study out there about a third of americans are planning to work now into their 80s. so why is that? and can you talk about retirement costs? how much that would be today? >> alex if i told you that it costs almost a million dollars to retire, would you believe me? >> i guess, yeah. >> to retire well, i guess i should say. so right now, about a third of americans are going to be working well into their 80s, because they simply can't afford to retire. and really the median income is around $50,000. that's not much different from 1989. so here's some more facts. 49% of americans are going to retire without any financial assets. 19% are going to die without just basically living off of social security, no financial assets whatsoever. it adds a whole other layer to that social security discussion. >> apple stock. can we get that real quick? just under $600. that was the first time in three
months it did that. does this mean the end of apple's winning streak? has the bubble finally burst there? >> not necessarily. analysts definitely are expecting that stock to go up. now, apple did miss estimates when they reported out earnings. what's going on there is because they're rolling out a whole bunch of new products, you saw the ipad mini that came out. that costs money. so analysts are expecting apple to hit those profit margins by april. as of now investors have lost $106 billion because of that loss. >> wow. okay. well, hitha prabhakar thank you very much for that. >> thanks for having me. in this morning's one-minute playback. david letterman's take on the final presidential debate. the late show did a special halloween version of the duel. even moderator bob schieffer got into the act. check it out. >> how many folks are under the impression there were three presidential debates? did it seem like there were three? yeah. no. turns out there was a fourth presidential debate. did you see the fourth one? i completely missed it.
to help make sure everyone's ready with the know how we need for a new tomorrow. [ male announcer ] make sure america's ready. make sure you're ready. at devry.edu/knowhow. ♪ welcome back to "weekends with alex witt." at half past the hour, just about now, here's what's happening out there. we have the breaking news that tropical storm sandy is barreling out of the bahamas. it is heading toward the u.s. sandy is producing winds near 70 miles an hour. also very dangerous surf conditions up and down the eastern seaboard. airlines are waiving fees for any passengers who want to change their flights to the northeast and mid-atlantic regions. but some major delays and cancellations are, of course, possible in the coming days. you may want to adjust your plans accordingly there. and the u.s. navy ordered all ships in the norfolk, virginia, area sent out to sea to ride out the storm there. we've got a team of correspondents alone the east
coast, including the "today" show's al roker, weather channel's stephanie abrams. they're in rehoboth beach. also the weather channel's julie martin we heard there her in nags head, north carolina. they're going to be joining us throughout today. all throughout the day with coverage of sandy. meantime, nbc meteorologist dialen dryer is back with the very latest of the forecast track. dylan, another good morning to you. >> thanks, alex. good morning. we are looking at this storm as a weakening storm system right now, but that does not change the characteristics. it is still a very strong tropical storm, and there's a good chance it is going to strengthen back into a category 1 hurricane as we go into monday. right now it has sustained winds at 70 miles per hour. it is still moving to the north/northeast. and it is going to follow this path, parallel to the eastern seaboard. all the way until monday. monday night, in fact. that's when it is going to take that turn to the northwest. the outer bands of rain, light rain, across the shores of south carolina and moving up into
north carolina. we will see this storm actually get sandwiched between these two systems. cold front stalled to our west and an area of high pressure to our north and east. the storm then is going to go between the two and somewhere hit the coastline of southern new jersey, maryland, delaware, that's kind of where the models are in agreement now, moving onshore. so that means monday night into tuesday morning, in the mid-atlantic region, withins are going to deteriorate. the models are really coming into good agreement that somewhere western long island and down perhaps even as far south as ocean city, maryland, this storm is going to make its way onshore. so what does that mean? we are going to see extremely rough surf. we could have a storm surge up to around 4 to 5 feet. that's more than a 3 to 4 foot storm surge we had during irene and look at those rain totals. we could end up with about eight to ten, maybe even a foot of rainfall out of this system. so obviously, coastal flooding, beach erosion and even inland flooding will be an issue as this storm moves in. again the time frame for the
mid-atlantic would be especially bad monday night and throughout most of the day on tuesday. alex? >> okay. dylan dreyer, thank you very much for all those models and heads up. let's go to one of those areas that's very busy making preparations ahead of the storm. nbc's al roker is live in rehoboth beach, delaware. al let's get the story from you. it looks like a beautiful day but there's something looming out there. >> there is, alex. and it's interesting, when we came in last night we didn't see boarded up windows, anything like that. the supermarkets weren't very crowded. and, in fact, along the boardwalk here in rehoboth beach later this morning they're going to be having a halloween parade. so the people here aren't getting all worked up about it just yet. but they need to. because, this thing is, as dylan said, of historic proportions. once it passes by here, and again, you've got to remember, the tropical force winds extend out 450 miles from the center of this storm. so it is a monster storm. and it is going to reintensify. it will become a category 1
storm again. and as it makes its way up the coast, and then makes that hook left as dylan talked about, depending on where it comes in, this could mean catastrophic results for the northeast. if it comes in, say central new jersey, it would be, of course, devastating for the jersey coastline. but the storm surge, the worst quadrant of the storm is the northeastern quadrant. that would put new york city, long island, coastal connecticut, coastal new england, in that major bull's-eye of the worst weather. and so we could be looking at massive power outages, stretching really from norfolk, virginia, all the way up to portland, maine. this isn't just a coastal storm, alex. if you remember, tropical storm irene last year, more damage occurred inland, as the storm moved inland, than it did along the coast. and that could happen again with this system. we would have massive problems along the coast. new york city, they have not declared a state of emergency yet. they have not, say, shut -- the mayor has not shut down the
subways. but i suspect within the next 24 hours, as these models come closer to agreement, we'll be sheing more of these shutdowns and mandatory evacuations of low-lying areas, new york, long island, connecticut, because this could be a massive system. and unlike some other storms of the past we could be looking at a foot of snow inland, in parts of ohio, and pennsylvania, and west virginia. so, this has the potential of causing massive, massive disruptions for a long period. at least a week, and maybe even longer, for parts of the megalopolis stretching from washington, d.c. all the way up into new england, and as far west as buffalo and pittsburgh. >> yeah. so, al, as long as this high pressure stays where it is and the other storm that's been coming from the west, i mean that means it has to funnel right through those points, right? i mean, so you know that's where it's going. >> basically, that's right. and so, the question now is exactly where.
does it hit -- some models have it coming right over new york city. some have it coming into the delmarva peninsula. and some into central new jersey. wherever it does come onshore it's going to have a massive, major impact. we know that. it's just a matter of exactly where, and we'll have a better idea within the next 24 hours. but starting tomorrow night and on through tuesday, we're going to see a degradation of our weather conditions in the northeast, and the mid-atlantic. >> okay. well let's hope those kids get to enjoy the halloween parade today because tomorrow may be a totally different story. al it's always good to see you. thanks so much for giving us the story. appreciate it. you can get the very latest on the storm at any time and see how it could affect the presidential race by going to weather.com. ten days until election day and both campaigns are going nonstop. president obama visits nashua, new hampshire this afternoon. vice president biden along with his wife jill and son beau are scheduled to meet in lynchburg, virginia. paul ryan takes his bus tour to five cities in ohio. mitt romney is focusing on florida with stops in three cities there. but focus may be on florida and
ohio today, most of all. but in some scenarios, this whole election could come down to, colorado. joining me now is nbc's deputy political editor domenico montanaro. the ultimate wonk when it comes to doing all the numbers. let's stalk with this -- about this scenario. how do you see this? where is colorado playing into this? >> we obviously talk a lot about florida, ohio and virginia and we should because that's where most of the ad money is being spent. but let's take a look at where colorado could keep us up all night. if you give president obama, as you see on your screen, all of john kerry's states from 2008, plus new mexico, and you know, and give ohio to romney, well, we're stuck at 266 for romney, 263 for president obama, and this is very possible. because you have president obama winning in nevada, and then you have colorado with those nine electoral votes, mountain time zone, late closing time of 9:00 eastern time. we could be up until 2:00, 3:00
in the morning waiting for a state like colorado. there's even another scenario if you were to give president obama ohio but mitt romney squeezes out a win in wisconsin which is paul ryan's home state, and give mitt romney iowa, those are 16 electoral votes. and then we're stuck with president obama, 265, mitt romney at 264. and colorado, once again, probably the closest state right now, would be determinative with those nine electoral votes. >> and so what about the latest nbc news poll for colorado's likely voters? as we get to some of these details here, can you go through that and explain the numbers there and the changing from just earlier this month? >> yeah, well just from late september, that poll changed in just a month from 50-45 president obama to now just 48-48. as tight as it possibly could get. and the reason, though, the trend there is not good for the president. you saw a switch with suburban women. you saw a switch with women in general in the state. the thing that's keeping
president obama in the game is hispanics, president obama with about a 30-point lead and they make up a slightly larger percent of the electorate. there's no doubt it's going to be very, very close on election day. >> how about the approval rating? how's the president's approval rating in colorado? >> the approval rating is just about where it's been. it's ticked up a little bit. he's about one point down on that, 48-49. this month, 47-48 last month. so when you see some of that trending, where mitt romney got a boost, it's because of that first debate. you had some of those suburban women, suburban men, who may be we're leaning toward president obama, and then decided after that first debate, well, i guess mitt romney's not as bad as we thought he was from these ads from president obama. independents in the state also can be a tough nut to crack. they -- the president had a lead with them 50-39 in september, and now he's upside down with them, as well, rather it's tightened to a tie.
46-45. so, you know, it -- it's just, it really couldn't get tighter there, and it's really going to come down to the ground game. >> not surprising. domenico montanaro, thank you very much from d.c. on all that. well, in this week's office politics i went through the msnbc news room to talk with my colleagues about the election. first i asked them if they believe america is at a crossroads. >> well, if president obama wins, he'll be viewed as one of the greatest presidents of all time. i really believe that. he'll be top six, seven. because of what he inherited. first black president. getting re-elected. health care. all of the -- just the stigma of a black president being re-elected. i mean he'll -- it's a heavy lift, especially against citizens united money, and there's been a lot of firsts in this -- in this four-year
tenure. and so i think that it's big from that historically it's big. >> that's interesting. i mean it's all perspective. my father was in the army for 35 years. and obviously he perhaps would not see this as the crossroads. look at world war ii and the events that followed. i think it's all perspective. i mean i'm 42. for my generation, i think that they perhaps would have looked at maybe bush, the iraq war. there are different moments in time. >> i think every election is important to each and every generation for specific reasons. but sure if we look at where we're going as a country right now, in this election, the big decisions are about, do we want to fire somebody, and hire somebody new? or keep going the way that we're going? i think for the younger generation, president obama has offered certainly an updated and
modern presidential course, taking us into the future when it comes to equality across the board. and that just -- not just when it comes to lgbt equality but for women's equality, as well. being the fact that the first thing he signed when he got into office was the lily ledbetter act. >> i do believe the american voter is faced with a very big choice in terms of direction of the country, and fundamentally we have two parties that really believe in different prescriptions for both the economy, and also american society, and the american social compact. so i do think it's a big deal. the question, i think, though is more one of long-term sort of, the -- the issues are really long-term issues for american society. so while in the next four years, look if obama is re-elected i'm a little bit skeptical about just how much he's going to be able to change. i think the sort of bigger risk, if you will, is if you have mitt romney in the white house, because i think that means you turn over possibly the senate, and certainly the house stays
republicans. and there you have a lot more room to do a lot more in terms of legislation. >> i've been covering campaigns since i don't even want to tell you how many decades. but no, i think there is a sense that this is critical. not only because where we are economically, and decisions that are going to be made are going to have obviously a tremendous impact. but because you do have two candidates, and two parties, who have completely different views. where we ought to go as a country. and how we ought to approach these problems. and what the role of government is. so it isn't just the circumstances. i think it's really the difference in about how we want to move this country forward that makes it so significant. it really talks about who are we as a nation. and what do we want to be and what do we want to represent? >> well, if governor romney carries out what he promised to do in the primaries, it's a real sort of 180 from what we are doing right now. i mean, it's very much top point
abortion rights, toppling same-sex. very much the opposite direction of the president. on economics, no more epa, no more taxes, no more regulation. cowboy capitalism. i guess is the ambition. that's sort of how he's promising it. and foreign policy i do fear the hawkishness of the line that governor romney's taken. talking about going to war with iran if they even have the capability to build a nuclear weapon. that's preemptive. and i think that's a very dangerous pattern to go down. we did that before with iraq. i don't think preemptive war is anything more than war. >> it's always food. it's always food. i'm obsessed with a place in east elmhurst queens, a french pastry shop. i've gone there the last two weekends, including taking a big subway ride and hiking over there. it's not near a subway. "argo" i loved the movie. go ben aflex. i think he did a great job. i'm going to be seeing "lincoln."
obviously love doris kearns goodwin's book. >> we don't know which one of these guys will be marching towards the finish line on november 6th. this is just you go around the country and people, you go to airports, and the dollar bill didn't come with it but it just sort of seems a nice touch. don't you think? >> we'll have more of my conversation today at 12:00 noon. we're going to talk about what is next if the headlines on november 7th read president-elect romney. up next the newest totals on early voting and implications for the election's ultimate outcome. you're watching "weekends with alex witt." the legal protection you need? at legalzoom, we've created a better place to turn for your legal matters. maybe you want to incorporate a business you'd like to start. or protect your family with a will or living trust. legalzoom makes it easy with step-by-step help when completing your personalized document -- or you can even access an attorney to guide you along. with an "a" rating from the better business bureau legalzoom helps you get personalized and affordable legal protection. in most states, a legal plan attorney is available
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george washington university. nice to see you, michael. thanks for joining us. >> great to be with you. >> let's get to the latest national tally. how's it read right now? >> so far we've got well over 10 million people who've already voted in this election. the numbers are probably even higher than that because we're lagging a day in the reporting. so we're probably over 11 million. >> let's look at key states right now. party breakdown for florida. how are you seeing it? >> well, right now, the republicans enjoy a 5 percentage point advantage in party registration. keep in mind party registration is not self-identified partisanship, not a vote for a particular candidate, but it is instructed to look at party registration, how it compares in 2008, to see what we might think about the trends within a particular state. plus five republican, that looks pretty good for the romney campaign, but keep in mind, these are the mail ballots. and the democrats usually do very well in that in-person vote which starts today in florida. in fact the republicans usually do much, much better, like maybe 15 percentage points better in the mail ballot. so there's something interesting
going on in florida, where the obama campaign is encouraging their supporters to vote during the mail balloting period. we've actually seen an increase of about half a million more mail ballots in 2012 compared to 2008. suggesting that the obama campaign anticipating there was going to be a reduction in early voting hours in the state of florida, have encouraged their supporters, mobilized them to vote in a different way. >> looking at iowa. it seems to be like it's going the way of 2008 so far. is that how you're reading it? >> yeah the states of iowa, north carolina, and colorado, we're seeing party registration numbers that are slightly better for the republicans than 2008. but, iowa is a state that obama won by 9.5 percentage points. so slightly better in terms of the party registration. in the early votes, probably not going to cut it for romney. he's got to do a lot better. and over the last week we've seen sort of a flattening out of the party registration. republicans had been out of th
party registration. republicans had been improving. this week they've actually reversed a little bit, just slightly in terms of the party registration. so it looks as though if the romney campaign is going to turn things around they've got to do a big push next week or on election day in iowa. >> yeah, let's look for virginia. we have it broken down male/female, right? what are you seeing in the votes? >> well, virginia is a state that has excuse required absentee voting. you see a much lower level of early voting in those states than other states. you see who are the sorts of people who are going to be requesting a ballot then if they have to provide an excuse. it tends to be older people living in nursing homes is one of the key demographic groups. so you see an electorate that's much older. the early electorate is much older in these states. because women tend to live a lot longer than men, you see a difference in terms of the gender breakdown too.
>> yeah. i have to go. can i ask you quickly, who's winning so far with the early vote? >> that's what everybody wants to know. >> well, yeah. >> i would say in iowa it looks good for obama. north carolina looks good for romney. and then looking across the rest of the states, i think we're just going to have to sit tight and see what the early vote tells us at the end of the week. >> i think you're right. michael mcdonald, as always, good to see you. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> up next, barn storaging across the buckeye state and the issues that may decide the election. [ jack ] after lauren broke up with me, i went to the citi private pass page and decided to be...not boring. that's how i met marilyn... giada... really good. yes! [ jack ] ...and alicia. ♪ this girl is on fire [ male announcer ] use any citi® card to get the benefits of private pass. more concerts. more events. more experiences. [ jack ] hey, who's boring now? [ male announcer ] get more access with a citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ]
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debate. >> henry, let's talk about the ground game in ohio. who has the advantage? >> it's tough to say at this point. the obama campaign never left after 2008. they like to tell us that. they like to remind us of that. the romney campaign has been on the ground since the primary was over probably in april. they had a lot of catching up to do. they are stressing their door knocking capabilities. they've knocked on over a million doors in ohio. it's tough to say. the obama campaign has a superior ground game. they were heavily involved in a ballot issue a year ago. that was seen as a scrimmage for 2012. and right now we're just waiting to see who's turning out the early vote fast enough. >> but it seems like president obama has the sense there, that's what experts say. we just talked to michael mcdonald. it seems that way. do you think it's the thing that has enough with the wind at its back to carry him?
>> the early vote, yes. right now it seems in polls he's ahead. the one caveat is it's hard to look at data that's reliable because in ohio you don't really register as a democrat or as a republican. the state identifies you by which party's primary you voted in last. all the numbers that we're looking at here, they're skewed in a way because they're more nonpartisan voters than there are democrats or republicans. so even though we see perhaps more republicans are requesting ballots or they're returning them at a faster clip, that's not necessarily indicative of who's winning because of those nonpartisan voters, many might vote for obama and many democrats might have crossed over. >> henry, real quickly. i'm sorry, we're running out of time. when it comes to what you write about mitt romney saying that his latest time on the campaign trail are like a high school football atmosphere. is he gaining in popularity by the size of his crowd? >> i don't know if you could
measure it by the size of his crowds. he's drawing bigger and it has this feel. it's a momentous thing. >> henry gomez, i'm sorry we have to cut you short but we're out of time. thank you very much. we'll see you again. that's a wrap for me. let's head it over to chris hayes. he's getting ready to bring you "up with chris hayes" and i'll see you back here at noon eastern time. that's nothing... watch this... [ whoosh ] whoo-hoo! that's so weird... [ whoosh ] [ male announcer ] with reddi-wip... [ boy ] oh, yeah! ...a slice of pie never sounded better. mmm! that's because it's always made with real cream, never hydrogenated oil like some other whipped toppings. the sound of reddi-wip [ whoosh ] is the sound of joy.
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